UWI lecturers in Trinidad to upload students’ grades

UWILogoFilePhotoPort of Spain, Trinidad (CMC) — The West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT) is advising lecturers at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to upload the marks of students who sat examinations late last year, no later than Wednesday.

WIGUT which met in an emergency session Monday after Tertiary Education and Skills Training Minister Fazal Karim last weekend said the government would provide an estimated TT$87 million (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) to the UWI to end the industrial action by lecturers, said a schedule had also agreed upon for the payment of the arrears.

According to WIGUT, the schedule “which is unconditional” would result in lectures receiving 12 per cent of the arrears in February, 40 per cent in March, followed by another 10 per cent in April and the remaining 30 per cent in May.

WIGUT said as a result it was advising members that “after consultation with the Campus Registrar, First Examiners are asked to upload their marks into banner by Wednesday 28th January, 2015 at midnight,” it said noting that “Gradebook will be closed after this time”.

WIGUT said “effective immediately, we are to resume to normal operating conditions and procedures thereby returning the University to a state of normalcy”.

Lecturers had refused to file the grades for students who sat examinations last semester in protest at the non-payment of the arrears owed to them.

Students have been staging demonstrations, including blocking the gates to the university in a bid to get the lecturers to end their action.

Karim told Parliament Friday that the arrears will be made in tranches by May 31, this year. He later said he expects once the matter has been settled the students will get their grades.

“I expect there will be no more reason to strike.”

WIGUT president Dr Russel Ramsewak in a note to the membership last Friday, said during a meeting with campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat and other officials he was informed Karim had made a statement in Parliament on the issue.

“The Minister made that statement based on information fed to him by Campus Senior Management. I reiterate that up to this point we only had a proposal on the way forward in this impasse, which we meant to discuss with you all at the previously arranged meeting for Monday 26th 2015.

“Given these critical circumstances in which the Minister would find himself in an embarrassing position based on misinformation from Senior Management, the Secretary and myself caucused and sought legal advice on the matter.”

He said based on the discussion and advice received, “I had to make an executive decision as President. “In addition, we were informed that if I did not agree with the accord it would have been retracted and Campus Management would insist on mediation as the only way forward”.

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